This is nothing special, well to you anyway. I'm not a scrapbook type, or a baby book writer, or even a picture printer. I'm terrible at recording memories. This blog is my attempt at holding on to some of my life as a Christian, a wife, and a homeschooling Mom of 5. I am a country girl that lived in a big city for 14 years, and moved to the Deep South for quiet, quaint, small town living.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cowboy Room

Troy was painting George's room.  It is slowly becoming more and more like the cowboy room I'm envisioning.  After Troy taped off and covered everything in the middle of the room, he gave the kids paintbrushes and let them go at it while he cut the trim. 

I kind of want them to paint this on the finished wall.
Kind of.
For one who paints murals, I really have a hard time committing to a room design.
I don't know if Liv really knew we were going to paint over her masterpiece, 
as she went with the cowboy theme also.
We knew enough to strip Ginnie down first.
Cowboys, Indians, Cowgirls, horses....
The wild west in action.
Those kids worked so fast, they got 2 walls done before Troy finished his half.  The stories they were telling about their art was amazing.  It was an interactive story as they kept on illustrating it.  
I really wished I used the video mode.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The cost of a little quiet around here.

Remember, busted camera.

The house got quiet.
I about lost it.  I was scared to death.
It is never that quiet around here!
I did a quick head count.
Baby, nursing- check.
Liv and George, reading on the couch- check.
Uh oh......
Where is Ginnie???

I heard a squeaky voice coming from the porch...
Here is where I saw Virginia playing.

 How sweet, right?
 Did you notice the big rip in the screen, made by you-know-who? 
She placed her animals between the screen and the outside glass. 
Oh well, it was worth the few minutes of quiet, right?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Weaving, oh yeah.

Troy and I were talking (Ok, so it was probably more like, I was talking and Troy was my audience) and I was thinking out loud things the kids could do that would be fun, educational, and keep their hands busy.  Can you tell I'm gearing up for winter when we are holed up inside all day?

I mentioned those simple kid weaving looms.  He looked at me like I was nuts.  He had never paid attention to any kind of toy like that.  He was purely a "play ball" kind of kid, apparently.  

I'm sure he wasn't outside 24/7 but he has conveniently forgotten the rest of his childhood.  
He needs therapy.  
Shock therapy.

I grabbed my weekly 40% off coupon for A.C. Moore and bought a simple loom and hook for $4.  

Of course I couldn't just throw the project at the kids.  
I had to make it a lesson.  
Of course.

Not pictured is the "paper spring" skill.  Unless you are Troy, you know what I'm talking about.  A simple practice of folding back and forth.  Want to know why it is not pictured?  I totally missed the spring when I blindly zoomed in.  Stupid broken camera.

Then we did some simple paper weaving.

Finally, we broke out the loom, hook, and loops.

And two, yes, TWO days later it was finished.  
Apparently my memory is a little fickle also.  I guess it wasn't the rip roaring, exciting project I remembered.  George encouraged Liv to finish it by offering to help.  

Mind you, George wasn't into it for the coordination experience, nor the pattern practice.  He wanted to give the finished project (not pictured also) to his girlfriend, Allyson (aka babysitter).  
And he did too.  She loved it.  
She has no idea that by taking that gift, it was like signing a betrothal.  
See you at the chapel in about 20 years, Allyson! 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My camera is busted.

So.... it was a misty, rainy day.  I let the kids put on their boots and rain coats to play a little.  I couldn't help but melt a little with the cuteness.  Of course I grabbed my camera.

Only to find out that the LCD screen was barely lit.  When I say barely, I mean, I can only see a faint outline on the white door on the shed.  That is all.

Are you wondering how this happened?  Not me.
Not because I saw anything happen to my camera.
I have just been graced with extra pictures when I upload my pics to my computer.  
By a certain little person.

Ginnie is great at sneaking the camera for a few shots of fun and putting it back for me to find later.
I would lay money down that she banged it on something and broke some connection to the LCD screen.  

Now, I am truly just pointing and shooting.  Blindly!  Any pictures I post from now on (I'm camera shopping) will be captured by pure luck!  Don't judge any weird compositions, or unfocused images. 

This should be fun.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


 Liv and George are best friends. 
They have no idea they are best friends.
George cried when Liv moved to a new Sunday school class.
No, he is not that shy.  He stayed in his familiar class, with all his other friends.
He just missed his sister.

Liv is a different person when George is with her.
She is a little braver when he is close by.
He pulls a voice out of her.
George gets her to run and play with abandon.
She would not normally let herself go without the comfort of her brother near.

It is a great thing to see your kids needing each other.
It makes the screaming, pushing, arguing almost bearable.

And look!  They both grabbed their feet when I said I was getting a picture!  
Weird how that sibling tie works.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pizza Night

I had to run out the other night.  I left Troy and the kids with homemade pizza dough, sauce, cheese and pepperonis.  I handed Troy the camera and said- have a party!  I'm looking at the pictures now.

Ginnie was super excited, see?  
Hmmmm..... I wonder how this night will end up.  
Poor Troy!  Ha ha!

George seemed to like spreading out his dough.
Liv got her's pretty big.
Troy was awesome and let them do it all.  
I love that!  
I love him!
Ginnie is looking like a sweet, attentive child.  I'm impressed.
I know Liv and George understand that they need to have the right attitude and behaviors to do special things.  But it is always wonderful to see it being played out.  Sweetness!

I can hear them now.  

"George, may I have the cheese please?  
Oh, thank you.  I'll gladly save you some."

Oh my heart swells!
Sharing, experimenting, creating, helping.....
Ginnie is listening, behaving, helping!
And, by Golly, 
even SMILING!!!!
Of course the older two are loving their extra fun dinner.
Looks good!
Even Maggie looked content and joyous.
Family time, learning time, eating time. 
It is all so lovely and peaceful.  Blissful even!
Why did I have to miss this?!?
Something always goes amiss when I'm around.
Especially when I have good things planned.
I'm trying not to be bitter.
Oh wait.
What is that????
Ahhhh.  All is right in the world again.
(Did you wonder why she seemed to happy, even when things where not HER way?  Oh yes.  She was in control of where the dough would end up!)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Maggie Raye

Her little personality is starting to show.
It is beginning to look like her personality is not so little.
Mags is picky as to who gets to hold her.
Even if you make the cut some days, you might not the next.
She plays with your emotions.
It is a cruel thing.
Then she looks at you and makes a silly face.
She has a way of erasing any ill feelings.

Hey Ma!  Who am I?
(That is a little game we like to play in this family.)

No matter what she does, I think I might always give her a little extra mercy.
I will probably even spoil her.
Not because she is the baby, but because of what she put up with.

That personality that is starting to show is still microscopic compared to Virginia.
Ginnie loves little Maggie.
She looks so sweet kissing Maggie's head.

And it is sweet.
Except that all I can think of is
"I will love him, and hug him, and squeeze him, and I will call him George."

Maggie is just trying to survive folks.
She deserves a little extra love.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cake Boss in the making.

Marcy had a cake to make.  
I had a night to hang.  
She let me play with her new food coloring markers!

She was prepared, as always.
The cake was baked, fondanted (yes I know that is not a real word), 
images printed, and gum paste cut and dried.
She said to copy the pictures onto the gum paste circles as best as we could.
I was loving this!
I realized Marcy has skills beyond baking too.
You can't tell which ones I did and which ones she did.
I was secretly impressed.
And a little intimidated.
She is supposed to be the baker and I'm the artist!
Now I need to get better at baking to even the score!
So this cake is for a couple twins that Marcy loves sooooo much.
She made this cake a compilation of their favorite things.  The circles represent some and the camera depicts their love for photography and the image of the two of them in the LCD screen.
Look at that face.  
She knows it is clever.
Yes, it is all edible.
The Adirondacks, Van Gogh
Fish, Under Armor, Space
Facebook, those barefoot running shoes, Dodge ball (I am still laughing at that picture!)

I had so much fun!
Thanks Marcy for the sweet evening (get it? ha ha), 
and making me feel useful, 
AND giving me an opportunity to make some art!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


This year had to be easy.  
I hate sewing.  
I very much dislike Halloween.  
I like candy.  
Oh the dilemma.

I had the moccasins my Mom made (yes she sewed and beaded them!) for my first costume.  
I wanted Maggie to wear them.

 The kids were excited to be a Cowboy, Cowgirl, and little Indians. 
(Yes, Native Americans, I know, but it just doesn't flow.)
 We had almost everything we needed for their costumes already!  
That was the first thing that made me happy.
Then we continued our tradition and went to the Hafez's house to score the most candy with the least amount of work, in a safe place.  Town homes in a good area- woot!  We spiced it up a little and added the Knipes this year.  Michelle is the spicy one glowing on the left.

(I have a busted camera, don't make fun of my whacked out pictures!  
I'll post about that soon enough.)

We had a great night.  The kids got to get dressed up.  We ate a lot.  The grown ups got to enjoy each other.  The candy flowed.  This might have been my favorite Halloween yet.

Just another weekend at Nana and Pop Pop's

Troy's parents know how to make a home.  Their house is brilliantly built (David spent years thinking about how he wanted to build, update, add on, and furnish their home ever since they bought it in the early 70's).  

Between he and Ginnie, they have put in countless hours to make it what Troy and I fondly call, the Stouffer Bed and Breakfast.  The lovely accommodations include meals made from scratch, strolls throughout the property with the great dane, listening to the babbling waterfall that flows into the pond, and evenings with catching-up-conversations and/or complete family gatherings.   It makes it all worth while to pack up all these kids and travel with them!  (Can you tell I'm not a fam of leaving the house much?)

Ginnie let the kids help make apple crisp. 
Notice George looking at something?  
What could keep a Stouffer's attention like nothing else?
I can't speak for Troy's sister or brother, but I know he and his parents love some TV.  
Or at least the noise it provides.  

This gene, or whatever it is, has been passed to Liv, George, and Maggie.  Yes, even my sweet little baby is mesmerized but the flashy screen.  

Not little Ginnie though.  
Nothing could keep her from getting into all that she dreams of  
breaking terrorizing exploring.... ahem. 

Liv is happy to sit back and watch G and V bake while scraping the caramel pot from caramel apples.
There are no rules about sweets at Grandparent's houses.
Troy's brother brought over some incredible smoked meats that he smoked himself.  It was awesome!  Just like a professional.  He even made his own smoker, in the Stouffer way.  
They just know how to create things.
It was really fun to hang out with all the Stouffers (minus a couple).  It is getting even nicer when nieces and nephews are old enough (and willing) to watch over our kids so we can have an adult conversation or 2.  Our kids have some great cousins.
and.... the outcasts.  
Troy and Barry waiting for the crowd to disperse and give a little elbow room around the food.  

But it is not all fun and games and merriment.
Oh no.
There is work to be done to keep up this place!
No matter how young....
They can do something.
That is the Stouffer way.  
I'm exempt.  I'm just married in.
That is what I try to tell them.

But I will sacrifice my children in a heartbeat.
Can you hear Pop Pop now?
"A little less talk, a little more work young man,"

I can't wait until we can send the kids to the Stouffer boot camp in a few summers!